Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Nuthin’ Muffin “Ugly in Pink”

It’s been quite a few years since anyone has heard from singer/songwriter Drew Ross. It was back in 2012 that the talented individual had released his one and only album. Back then, Ross had put out a double CD recording entitled Rocket Science.

Rocket Science was a strange type of album that had two parts to it. One CD of the release contained solo recordings of Drew Ross’ own compositions that contained only Ross’ voice and one single guitar. These acoustic recordings would later be used by a British musical duo who calls themselves EcoPunk. Working together with Drew Ross, the Brighton, England-based writing team would take his simple acoustic recordings and flesh them out by add their style of music to Ross’ compositions. With the two CDs showing off the two different phases of music composing (the initial creation phase and then the collaboration phase), the 2-CD Rocket Science release became one of the most interesting albums I reviewed back then.

After the release and subsequent success of Rocket Science, Drew Ross continued with the idea of collaborating with others to create other interpretations of his songs. And while some of those resulting interpretations were very good, no further album releases would surface and Rocket Science would remain Drew Ross’ one and only release. But then, that changed.

It was with a dramatic change of direction that Drew Ross found his next musical project. It was with his wife Anna that Drew Ross created the project Nuthin’ Muffin.

Nuthin’ Muffin is a musical project where every song was created by the Rosses. And every track created was a cover tune. In fact, the resulting album entitled Ugly in Pink consists entirely of songs from the 1980s. And while the two artists could have created an album of nothing but Top 10 classics from that era, they went in a much more interesting direction by mixing well-known hits from famous artists with lesser-known hits from not-so-famous artists. Heck, even the album title is a not-so-subtle homage to songs from the eighties. That album title is Ugly in Pink.

Ugly in Pink from Nuthin’ Muffin begins with one of the lesser-known tracks. The lead-off song is “The Breakup Song” (better known by the title of “They Don’t Write ‘em Like That Anymore”. While “The Breakup Song” may not be instantly recognizable to all Rock and Roll lovers, the band did have another hit later on called “Jeopardy”. For the track, Nuthin’ Muffin creates a straight-out cover version that sounds very much like the original. What the Nuthin’ Muffin version lacks in originality it makes up for in promotion as the new version helps to reestablish the song in people’s memories.

While “The Breakup Song” is one of the lesser-known songs on Ugly in Pink from Nuthin’ Muffin, the next track ends up being perhaps the easiest to recognize. The second track of the album is “Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics. Other tracks like “Love Stinks” by The J. Geils Band, “I’ll Fall In Love Again” from Sammy Hagar and “Dancing with Myself” from Generation X (a band that featured Billy Idol) all give the listener solid versions of tunes that listeners to FM radio would be familiar with.

The more interesting moments on Ugly in Pink belong to songs that, like the aforementioned “The Breakup Song,” aren’t overly familiar. Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Lips like Sugar,” “New Girl Now” from Honeymoon Suite and even “She Sells Sanctuary” from The Cult adds that element of surprise to those music lovers looking for something different.

Taking a listen to Ugly in Pink from Nuthin’ Muffin, the arrangements of the tunes aren’t really all that amazing. As a matter of fact, what the album feels like is a well done album of tunes from your better-than-average cover band. What truly makes the release is the unusual mix of tunes. In-between the straight-out hits are songs you get to discover, or discover all over again.

The most important thing about Ugly in Pink from Nuthin’ Muffin is that the album allows Drew Ross to get his name out there once again during the time that he works on his next album of all-original material. If you are a fan of music from the eighties, the new release from Drew and Anna Ross is well-worth the time to listen to it.

To learn about Drew Ross’ Rocket Science album, click HERE.

To check out the music of Ugly in Pink from Nuthin’ Muffin, click on the album cover below: